Saturday, March 8, 2008

“I See My Time Is Up”, George DeHoff, Sr.

“I See My Time Is Up”, George DeHoff, Sr.

This book is the autobiography of George W. Dehoff, Sr. (1913-1993). I first came across this book while visiting with my good friend Don Cooper, the minister at Wadsworth in Ohio. I was skimming the book and found many interesting sections I read immediately. A couple of years later (after doing a book review of a biography on Hugo McCord, The Enchanted Knight) Don Cooper asked me if I would do a book review for the area preachers’ meeting. I suggested “I See My Time Is Up” and Don graciously let me borrow his copy to read. So I have been in the process of reading this very informative book about a preacher, Christian college administrator, business leader, politician, and publisher of Christian class literature.

When I read a biography I sometimes wish I had all the major writings relating to the subject. That appears to be what his assistant and daughter, Bonnie DeHoff Fakes, has done. As a consequence, some of the material is repetitive (maybe even redundant). Of course, this will not concern those who want to know all they can about George Dehoff.

George DeHoff has a rich family heritage. He was a frequent traveler to the Holy Land and was highly regarded for his knowledge relating to these travels. He was very active in the Rotary International and was recognized for the many contributions he made. He served as President of Magic Valley Christian College in Idaho. He also served as Vice President at Freed-Hardeman College. He founded DeHoff Publications and has contributed widely to Christian literature. He also wrote one of the first commentaries on the whole Bible in the brotherhood. He conducted several public debates on topics relating to bible classes & women teachers (DeHoff-Head Debate), located preachers (DeHoff-Garrett Debate), orphan homes (DeHoff-Holt Debate), Calvinism (DeHoff-Davis Debate), and marijuana (DeHoff - Barrett Debate).

Two of my favorite sections in the book are reflections written by prominent preachers about their relationship with DeHoff and DeHoff writing about preachers he knew. He also includes a short church history from 1929 to 1988 that is informative. Articles, sermons, and speeches also are supplied in the book including a popular address “What Made America Great?” that received several requests to be repeated. There are several excellent sermons printed in the book including “What the Pioneers Preached,” “The Providence of God,” and “The Final Authority in Religion.” DeHoff had begun preaching in 1929 and was known as the "boy evangelist” because he began at the age of sixteen. He had reportedly baptized over 2,300 people by the time he was 25 years of age, and it is estimated he baptized 8-10,000 people during his entire career.

When I finished reading the book, I reviewed the book to see what I would include in this review. It is astonishing just how much George H. DeHoff accomplished for the cause of Christ. The book is excellent reading for everyone for its sound teaching and to become more familiar with the brotherhood of the recent past.

One of the personal traits that shines throughout the book is George DeHoff’s sense of humor. In a chapter entitled “Incidents Along The Way” DeHoff relates an encounter he had after a sermon entitled “What Will it Be Like In Hell?” A Jehovah Witness spoke up stating there was no hell and God would not punish anyone. DeHoff waited to see if a visiting preacher in the meeting would answer, but there was none and the members were looking at DeHoff to respond. DeHoff asked the man to read from Revelation 23. The man turned in his Bible and told DeHoff, apologizing for embarrassing DeHoff, that there are only 22 chapters in Revelation. DeHoff’s response is classic: “Thank you very much, that is a load off my mind. I have read Revelation 22, and it leaves all of the wicked people in hell. I thought maybe you had another chapter to get them out.”
DeHoff was a forceful proclaimer of the truth and could hold his own under fire. We need more Christians like George H. DeHoff, Sr. His grave is located in Evergreen Cemetery in Murfreesboro, TN where he served several years as an evangelist.

Originally printed West Virginia Christian, Vol. 12, No. 5, May 2005, p. 8. Reprinted by permission.

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